Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 39, Tuesday April 5, 2005







The agony of a mother

The moment I heard the news, my hands started shaking so hard that I had to let go of the phone. A disastrous incident had occurred, enough to rock my whole world. The son of an acquaintance had been killed in a horribly tragic accident. The child had only been twelve years old. As my legs trembled and my heart raced, my whole body started going into shock. The emptiness of the mother's heart cannot be replaced. Throughout the rest of the day, I felt the almost tangible pain. I am not sure whether I can face the bereaved mother…what can I say? Will a simple sorry suffice? My inability to console will be apparent as it did a few years ago when the son of a close friend passed away. My mind and soul is heavy with sadness and a restlessness to help. The paramount question is…what do I say and how do I say what I am feeling?

It is not just a question of losing the child. You have held a child in your womb for nine months, raised him for twelve years and suddenly one day he's not there. Where is the justice in all this? My advice to all mothers, be with your children. Keep them with you as long as you can. Enjoy their every move, enjoy each of their unique smells, cherish them and keep them close to your heart. I ask the world to pray for all of us who are mothers.

By Shirley Momen


It's study time

Many of us don't know the exact way to make our children study. Let's take a look at some of the effective ways to make your child grow interest in his school work. TV is most probably the biggest distraction. Therefore, switch off your television when your child sits to study. If his elder sibling is playing with a computer during the study hours, ask him/her to shut it down for a while.

Designate specific areas for studying; it might be the child's own room or the dining room table.

Consider placing a bulletin board in your child's room, where he can pin the important school notices, drawings, and even a photocopy of the recent progress report to remind him always that if he wants he can outdo anyone at school.

Encourage the use of a small book or pad for writing down assignments so that there is no confusion about when certain assignments must be turned in to the teacher. Keeping general supplies on hand is important.

You too should sometimes help your child with his homework when he cannot do it alone. But never do the home tasks for him, all you should do is guide him with his work.

You must also browse the school diary everyday to check what has been taught in class on that particular day, to learn about the upcoming exam dates, school events etc. Make sure that your child does homework on time, and carries the right books and accessories to school every day.

And lastly, don't force a hungry child to sit down to study. Ensure that he has proper and adequate afternoon snacks. Remember that a hungry child is always cross and never interested in his/her studies.

By Penelope

Check it out

Cravings of the sweet tooth

Some times some things may not be very good for you but you will still crave for it. Sweets are such devious things that grab your attention. You will brave cavities in your teeth as well as diabetes and whatnot. You cannot blame yourself when the sweets look this tempting.

Sweetmax is one such bakery that displays its products in such a sinful way. The place has a funky modern décor. But you don't really go for the décor. According to the press blurb there are about 178 different food items available for your tasting. You have your usual cakes and pastries. There has to be a black forest cake this one at 600taka per kg. Then there's the customary chocolate and vanilla and the not so customary orange cakes.

Pastries include éclairs, tarts, and puddings and if you go through the menu then there is a chocolate/strawberry 'mouse'. Don't worry its not the furry, squeaky type. Its mousse but then again reading would not be much fun without typos.

There's a whole bunch of cookies and biscuits as well as some nice, long and soft bread that do not break easily when you stuff them to make sandwiches. The long loaf bread is 60 taka.

The place also offers fast food and set lunches that include everything from soup and rice to burgers.

Of further sweet varieties you get your regular offering such as sponge roshogolla, cham cham and kata vogh. What you do not get elsewhere is a delicious and curiously shaped sweets called baklava. These are particular Turkish delicacies that are available within 500-800 taka per kg.

Sweetmax was started in 1998 in Chittagong. In Dhaka they have been operating at Kamal Ataturk Avenue and have recently opened another outlet at Dhanmondi Road No. 8.

By Ehsanur Raza Ronny

Diary of a Food Obsessed Person

By Sam Q

Dearest diary,
My sister is in town. She couldn't stand her self imposed exile anymore, and decided that, enough is enough, eight months is long enough time to be away from her loved ones, and, she needs her family fix, and hence, her decision to come to Dhaka. She is a real family, friends and party junkie. Her withdrawal symptoms start exactly six months after she leaves Dhaka. So when my cuz Shumi heard that she was comin' to town, her reaction to that was a very giggly statement saying, "even before anyone starts to miss her…she is back." Though Shumi begged me not to tell my sis her statement, it was too good to keep it to myself.

My sister shouldn't take Shumis's comment to heart, because when she comes to town, those two months we party really hard. So we need at least six months to recuperate after she leaves and then the next six months we rejuvenate ourselves by buying new saris and accessories, gathering new recipes, some social tit-bits to impart, giving our houses face lifts for her to appreciate and so on. So this is how we, her friends and family brace ourselves for the next onslaught of hurricane Mujan.

Now diary, let me tell you what I did before she stepped into Dhaka. I went on an intense forage. She is such a health nut. Low fat yogurt, low fat milk, puffed rice, fruits(boring ones) such as apples and oranges, exotic ones won't do. Too much sugar, she says. Oats, tomatoes, leafy vegetables, fish (not the oily ones), cottage cheese, lentils, nuts, etc. She is granivorous and frugivorous rolled into one. And yes, those are real words.

Then I informed her tailor to put everything on hold, his best customer was coming to town. Then her masseuse was informed, dumbbells were procured, drivers and house helps were given holidays before she came, because nobody would be allowed to move from their stations till she leaves Dhaka. My mother's house was repainted, fumigated, my brother was arranging the guest room with a proper dressing table. The whole atmosphere was so festive and 'lookforwardy'. ( and no that's not a real word ).

Sorry sis, enough of Mun info. As my Minnat would say, "way too much information".

But you know what, we all love you to bits. We wouldn't have you any other way. Life would be so dull if you weren't "You".

So sweetie, cheers! It's good to have you back.
So a very "healthy" recipe today.

Stir fry with tofu
200 gm fresh tofu
4 tbsp sweet chili sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp sesame oil
600 gm mixed vegetables (mushroom, broccoli, capsicum)

· Put tofu in a shallow container; pour 1 tbsp each sweet chili sauce and soy sauce. Cover and marinate for 10 minutes.
· Meanwhile dry fry the sesame seeds in a hot wok until golden. Remove and set aside.
· Add 1 tbsp sesame oil to the wok, add marinated tofu and stir fry for 5 minutes until golden. Remove and set aside.
· Heat remaining oil in the wok, add vegetables and stir fry for 3-4 minutes. Stif in cooked tofu
· Pour remaining sweet chili & soy sauce over, then toss together and cook for a further 1 minute to heat through.
· Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Once again please add more chili sauce or soy sauce if required. I like my food salty and sweet so I add some more to suit my buds.

Adios. Happy cooking and have a good day.

Ls MailBox

Dear Editor,
Thank you for your informative cover story on event management companies published in 'Life Style' March 29, 2005 which is really a praise worthy initiative. Most of the information published was given by Obscura, an event management company though unfortunately Obscura's name was not mentioned. Even all the events in the photographs used in the story were organized by Obscura.

For your kind information, I would like to mention that your photojournalist Mr Zahedul I Khan has collected information on managing events and event photographs from Obscura. So I am disheartened to see the current issue which does not give us or our clients' due credit.

It may be mentioned that we have been working as a leading corporate event management company in the market with a client list of several multinational companies as our regular clients such as American Express Bank, Alico, Siemens, BGCCI, German Embassy, Emirates etc. besides other reputated national companies and organisations like Rahimafrooz, Flora, Nascom, Akiz Group, Anfords, Polycon, Arab Bangladesh Bank, The Trust Bank Ltd etc.

Obscura has a professional image in the market, which has been badly affected by this incident. I will have to get in touch with each of our clients in person so that they don't get misguided by your cover story. We don't expect such irresponsibility from a leading news paper like 'The Daily Star.'

Since Obscura is doing business with Daily Star for the last three years, we look forward for your cooperation to reestablish Obscura's image in the market.

Lubna Sharmin
CEO Obscura

Last week, we printed our lead story on Event Management. The photographs and some of the information for the story had been obtained from the event management firm Obscura, for which, due to an unfortunate oversight on our part, they were not given due credit. We would sincerely like to apologize for the inconvenience caused.

Please check out our story on page 3 where we feature event management by Obscura.

LS Desk


Last week, we looked at a lot of event management firms, and talked with a few individual stars in the biz. This week, we look at one more firm that's making quite a name for itself. Meet Obscura.

Headed by Lubna Sharmin, and comprising of a fixed team of 8-10 members, this company manages mostly corporate events. They've got an impressive list of clientele, including American Express Bank, Alico, Siemens, BGCCI, German Embassy, Emirates etc. in addition to reputed national companies and organisations like Rahimafrooz, Flora, Nascom, Akiz Group, Anfords, Polycon, Arab Bangladesh Bank, The Trust Bank Ltd etc.

They arrange a multitude of corporate programmes, from seminars and workshops to product launching, to office parties and even farewell parties.

So the next time you have a corporate programme that requires the touch of an expert, don't forget to give Obscura a try.

Obscura is located at House 24, Rd 9, Dhanmondi R/A.

By Sabrina F Ahmad


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